America’s Cup: Team New Zealand’s rookie crew backed to handle weight of expectation

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Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had no trouble dealing with the weight of expectation at the Rio Olympics.

Team New Zealand have again put themselves in the box seat to win the America’s Cup and one man familiar with several of the key sailors on board is confident they can handle the weight of expectation.

As Oracle work around the clock to improve their boat before racing resumes on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time), the biggest question facing the Kiwis is – unlike 2013 – can they kick on from their 3-0 lead and finish the job.

Team NZ helmsman Peter Burling and foil controller Blair Tuke are well-versed to dealing with public expectation.

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Andy Maloney (right) and Josh Junior have excelled in their first America’s Cup campaign.

In the four years leading up to the 2016 Olympics, the pair only lost one regatta in the 49er class to make them the hottest of favourites in Rio.

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And they carried out the assignment with their usual calm approach, dominating the field to wrap up first place with a race to spare all while juggling the extra responsibility of co-captaining…

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